Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday November 26

Life is so fleeting.  We never know from one day to the next what will come our way.  The passing of my dear aunt drove that reality into my soul.  But one thing I do know, Heavenly Father gives us challenges for a reason.  When we are called upon to lose one we love so suddenly and unexpectedly, we are blessed to get through it.  I felt the strength of the Larsen family as we attended both Judy's viewing and funeral.  What a great turnout they had for the viewing!  The line was clear down the hall!  It took us almost 45 minutes to even get to the room where the casket was!  What a tribute to her amazing life!  Her school children, that she had to leave behind, make a crayon wreath for her.  They also wrote notes, which Tara and Kristy put into a book, about the things they loved about their dear teacher.  It was truly touching to see the outpouring of love from her dear kindergarten children.  They are struggling with her loss too.  But at such a tender age, such sadness is to be expected.

The funeral was nothing short of amazing!  The spirit permeated the room. As we all gathered for family prayer, my heart just burned within me.  I knew my aunt was happy.  I knew she was with my grandpa, my uncle, my step-grandpa, and my sweet daughter.  I knew her family would be strengthened through each awful day.  We don't always know why things happen the way they do.  I know I questioned so many times last week why Judy was taken now, so quickly after Grandpa Morgan.  But truly through this whole experience, the Lord gave the family many tender mercies.  Because of Grandpa Morgan's funeral, we all saw Judy one last time.  The family also did not have to turn off the life support machines.  She went quietly on her own.  At Judy's funeral, many family members and extended family members were in attendance.  I felt their strength and I wasn't even an immediate family member!  There is such strength in family!  I can't believe how much it meant to me to see my dear great aunts, uncles, and cousins surround the Larsen family!  They needed that outpouring of love and it was there in abundance!  The talks during the services were eloquent.  The music was beautiful and touching.  I wished I could bottle up the feelings I felt and lock them away forever!

I know our family will get through this time of loss.  I am so grateful to belong to such a wonderful family.  I have amazing aunts, uncles, and cousins who are stalwart examples of what a Christ-like person should be.  If anything, their examples make me want to be a better person each day so I can be with them in the Celestial Kingdom someday.  Maybe, just maybe, if I try as hard as I can, I can reach their level of excellence.  I am so grateful for this experience, for the testimony builder it has been.  I am thankful for the reminders that Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ, walk with us each and every day.  They bind up the broken heart and help the wounded soul to heal.  They fill our hearts with peace.  I am also equally grateful for the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  I know the comforter was with us all during the past week.  He will continue to be with us over the coming months.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Angels Will Attend Us

I haven't written for some time now, at least not in this blog, but this morning I was overcome with gratitude for so many things.  But before I begin discussing my gratitude, I want to explain what has spawned my thinking as of late.  Only a few short days ago, my wonderful aunt passed away unexpectedly.  Her death hit our family very hard.  She was young, in the prime of life, with so much of her life left to live.  We are all grieving her loss in a deep and agonizing way.  Today we will travel down to Sandy for her viewing and funeral.  Her passing got me to thinking:  what helped me to survive the passing of my beautiful angel and how has my heart come to heal from the sting of death?  In my search for an answer, I was led to a beautiful talk by Merrill J. Bateman, entitled "The Power to Heal from Within."  As I listened and read the conference address, my heart filled with peace.  I knew exactly why I was able to let my sweet daughter go and what helped me to keep moving forward after her departure.

First of all, Heavenly Father always gives us what we need to get through any trial that may come our way.  After Ashley died, I had many angels that surrounded me and helped me get through each day.  The first was Summer Nelson.  She invited me to attend the temple with her every week, which I did.  In the Holy Temple, I felt so much peace!  It invigorated my soul and reminded me my girl was always near.  I would not have gone to the temple every week without Summer.  Heavenly Father inspired her to ask me to come with her because he knew attending the temple would help me to heal.  And it did!  It helped me more than any other survival tactic I implemented.  (0:

Then there was the move to Logan.  I was a hopeless mess when we came here.  My anxiety was through the roof.  I was struggling with dizziness and depression, spawned by all the changes in our life at the time.  I felt so nervous and unconfident.  I was enrolled in school, but doubted my ability to be successful.  In fact, at that time, I didn't think I had anything to offer the world as far as skills go.  I had been a stay at home mom for the past 12 years.  I knew how to care for my daughter and care for my sweet boys, but that was about all.  I was nervous about traveling to campus and sitting in classrooms with students years younger than myself.  However, I continued to pray and have faith I would find the right path for me.  I did indeed find the path I was seeking.  I was blessed to get hired at Woodruff where I discovered I did have skills other than my mom skills.  I was surrounded by wonderful women who were loving and supportive.  The social interaction I had there truly kept me going through that first year, when I was endlessly trapped in the clutches of darkness and depression.  My school courses were also a heaven sent distraction.  I discovered I was not only able to study, but excel in my courses.  I grew to love the things I was learning and the chance to work toward a worthwhile goal.  Heavenly Father knew I needed that job at Woodruff.  He knew I needed school.  He gave me those blessings to help me survive.  I will be forever grateful for his guiding hand through each and every day!

The blessings have continued to fill my life.  Last year, when I needed a psychology apprenticeship, I was blessed to find the right research groups to join.  Every piece fell perfectly in place and I was able to finish my psychology degree without any hitches. I was blessed with the financial aid I needed so I could attend school in the summer.  In fact, the financial aid came through only two days before the tuition deadline hit.  Not only that, but as I have continued to pursue graduate school, the pieces have once again fallen into place.  I know I am supposed to continue on and that Heavenly Father will bless me in my desires to gain the education I need.  My patriarchal blessing specifically states this goal is of the utmost importance and I would be blessed with the means to finish my education.  I have literally seen the fulfillment of this promise.

On top of my education, I was given the calling of primary chorister.  This call was truly inspired!  I never dreamed I would be able to stand in front of children and teach them music every week.  But I can and I have been blessed every step of the way.  Week after week, I have been blessed to find fun activities that make learning songs enjoyable.  And I have to say, I am good at it!  This calling has given me a level of confidence I didn't think was possible.  I look forward to every Sunday.  Heavenly Father knew this calling would help me to grow and believe in myself and it has!!

I know the Lord watches over us.  He heals our broken hearts.  He sends us angels to bare us up.  The trials we have in this life help us to grow in ways we never thought possible.  I know every trial I have had in my life has given me strength and taught me more than I could ever imagine.  I feel the blessings and lessons I received during Ashley's passing have given me what I need to be a strength to my cousins at this time of terrible loss.  I know in time, they too will feel that healing peace in their hearts.  It will come.  They will be given what they need to survive.  They will have angels attend them.  How much I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  I know it is true!  It brings peace to our souls and healing to our hearts.  Of this I testify!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday September 30, 2012

I haven't written in Ashley's blog for such a long time, I thought I would post an update on our family.  We had the most wonderful summer!  We didn't take any fancy trips, but we did get to spend lots of time together as a family.  The boys were able to take swimming lessons.  I was so proud of them and their progress.  Austin passed out of all the levels three years ago.  He is a super swimmer and diver.  Spencer is moving into Level 5.  His strokes are looking beautiful!  Preston is moving in to Level 4.  He finally got the hang of diving and loves it!  (0:  His front crawl is amazing!  It makes my heart so happy to see them become powerful swimmers.  I just love swimming myself!  Now we can all hang out in the deep end and we love every second of it!

We were also blessed to spend time in Burley with my parents.  I haven't been home for a very long time.  I knew I wanted to go home for at least a week during the summer.  We went at the end of June.  It was am amazing week!  We spent time with my parents, helping them.  We got to see the grandparents.  The boys saw their cousins, which they LOVED!  (0:  While we were in Burley, we were able to get Ashley's headstone ordered.  When she died, we had the money for her headstone. But when Jason quit his job, and we moved to Logan, we thought it best to hang on to the money.  Thus, we never got her headstone put up.  My wonderful cousin and sister decided she needed her headstone.  Unbeknownst to us, they rallied the family together and presented us with the money we needed to erect her headstone.  As I said before, I have the most amazing family!!  (0:  It turned out so beautifully!  I will have to post a picture of it.  What a great blessing to finally have it done!!  Thanks so much to everyone who contributed!!  We couldn't be more grateful!

Another blessing that came this summer was Jason's promotion at work.  Sadly his promotion came because his boss was diagnosed with leukemia.  They asked Jason to step up in his absence and take over the financial part of their business.  He became the finance manager and the construction manager over Wyoming.  It has been very stressful at times, organizing and creating spreadsheets to keep track of the information given to him, but he has loved the new challenge!  It was so great to finally see them recognize the talents Jason has.  Now that we are starting to see the financial rewards of his promotion, he is doubly happy.  Like I said before, our family has been so blessed!

Given my school schedule this fall, I decided not to go back and work at Woodruff this year.  That decision was a hard one!  I loved working there!  However, I have to look to the future.  It is vital I gain the experience I need to get into the graduate program I desire.  So, at the current time, I am volunteering with two research groups.  Thankfully, it is only two!  I am also homeschooling Austin again this year.  He is with the Utah Virtual Academy, and we love it!  I spend about three hours in the morning with him before heading up to campus.  He is doing great!  I know I won't be able to homeschool him next year, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.  I am hoping time and maturation will enable him to focus better in school.  Truly, it is the focusing and organizational part of school that is hard for him, due to his ADHD.  The other boys are doing wonderfully well in school.  Spencer is in 5th grade and he has a super awesome teacher.  Preston is in 4th grade and also loves his teacher.  They both have good friends and are happy.  I can't tell you how hard I prayed that my boys would be happy this year.  They are and I know it is an answer to my earnest pleadings to my Father in Heaven.

Yes, my schedule is hectic.  Between homeschool, research, keeping up with my classes, and keeping up with my family, I feel like my head is in a vice pretty much every day.  This is the cool part though.  My body doesn't handle stress very well.  When I am stressed, I start to feel sick.  Two weeks ago, I started feeling sick.  My head began giving me fits again.  Yes, I still do struggle with vertigo!  YUCK!  I was so tired, and I didn't see how I was going to do all that I need to do and remain sane! I was staying up late and getting up early, and it still wasn't enough.  I started to pray for help.  I know Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers.  I can't tell you how I did it, but I was able to get through it all.  I got through the tests.  I got through the meetings, observations, and trainings.  And I am alive to tell the tale!  (0:   There is no way I did it on my own.  I was carried every step of the way!  That is the cool part!  When we ask for help, it comes.  It did for me!

Now I am in a bigger conundrum.  As I said before, I have been seriously considering the school psychology program.  I have been praying about school psych for quite a while now.  I thought I felt pretty good about it, but when I started attending the research meetings, something felt off to me.  I can't tell you what it was.  Every time I would go to a meeting, I would come away feeling dark and depressed.  I thought at first it was because I am so stressed right now.  Then, one day it hit me!  Perhaps school psych is not what I am supposed to do.  Perhaps Heavenly Father is trying to tell me something.  Well, that same day I had this thought, I was researching careers online.  One of which I was studying about was play therapy.  I heard about play therapy in my Abuse and Neglect course last year.  I never considered it before because there were no colleges close that offered this program.  Well, I found out two weeks ago that Boise State is now offering a play therapy program.  You first get a master's degree in counseling and then enter the play therapy program.  I was fascinated the first minute I discovered it!  I have been studying about it for two weeks now.  I spoke to the director and she said the best way to find out if it is for me is to attend a play therapy conference Boise State is hosting.  Jason and I are going to attend the conference which will be the first week in November.  I am not saying I am going to pursue that program, but it sounds so wonderful!!  At this point, I am going to explore every option.  I don't want to get into grad school, start a program, and then realize it isn't the right program for me.  No way!  I know there is a career out there for me that I will be good at!  I just have to find out what it is!  (0:

Life is good.  It is not easy, but I have come to love the hard times.  Those hard times have molded me into the person I am today.  I know there are many more yet to come, but with my wonderful husband, kids, and family surrounding me, I know we will survive.  (0:

Monday, July 16, 2012

Winn Family Updates

Wowzers!  It is July 16 already!  Where did the last few weeks go?  Before we know it, school will be starting again.  Crazy!  So I have had several people ask me about our family, so I thought I better write a few updates here on this blog.  (0:

We are doing great!  It has been a fabulous summer!  Just a couple of weeks ago, I took the boys up to Burley for a week.  We had such a fun time there!  I love going home.  Even though that area isn't very big in size, the people make up for it in heart.  It was fun to spend time with my parents.  We were able to help them with a few projects.  I was able to spend time with my grandparents.  Of course, we were blessed to get to see the Walquist cousins.  Spencer and Burke are two peas in a pod.  I love Annie and Alexis too.  Jessica and I were able to hang out a bit with our kids.  Overall, it was a super fun trip.

We haven't taken any exotic vacations this summer.  Honestly, we need to save up our money for tuition and rent.  But that is okay.  We have had so much fun together.  Jason and I started taking nightly walks together.  There are so many beautiful places to see here in Logan.  We have several favorite routes we walk.  It has become our special time together.  We bought our boys a larger swimming pool for the back yard.  They swim almost every day.  We also have some wonderful kids in the neighborhood our boys enjoy playing with.  Between swimming, playing with the neighbors, scouts, and cousins, the boys stay pretty busy.  Preston and Spencer started swimming lessons today and enjoy that.  Austin has taken up an interest in biking.  He and Jason have been riding nearly every day.  What a wonderful bonding experience for both of them.  (0:  We also purchased Austin a flute.  He loves music.  Since I pulled him out of Mount Logan, he hasn't been able to play.  He will start flute lessons next month.  I can't wait!  I think the music was so good for his concentration.

Jason is not loving his job, but he is surviving.  He was promoted to financial and construction manager when his boss was diagnosed with leukemia.  Thankfully, his boss continues to fight his cancer and is hanging in there.  My heart aches for him every day.  He has suffered so much!  It is a sad circumstance  in which Jason was able to be promoted.  We haven't seen a huge boost in income, but every little increase helps.

As for me, I am a pondering fool these days.  (0:  How so you may ask?  Well, I am trying so hard to figure out what in the world I am supposed to do for a career.  I am so back and forth.  There are pluses and minuses to both career paths I am considering.  I would love to be a counselor or a therapist.  At the  same time, I love education.  I want so much to continue working with kids in a school setting.  I have to admit, the education lifestyle appeals to me very much.  I was blessed to have my mother at home every summer.  I want to be there for my boys like my mom was there for me.  Pursuing a degree in school psychology would give me summers with my boys.  However, that is NOT a reason to become a school psychologist.  That is only a perk of the job.  Honestly, I want to help those kids who can't learn.  I want to help those kids who struggle with anxiety and depression.  I want to make every child feel like a winner.  As a school psychologist, I would be trained to intervene in the educational process.  I would be the one to help assess learning problems, behavior problems, and mood disorders and give kids the tools to deal with those problems.  I so wish someone would have given me the tools to deal with the anxiety I fought with for most of my years in school.  It was debilitating at times, and I thought I was crazy!  Well, I guess in a sense, I was crazy!  (0:  But what a difference it would have made to my mood, to my self-image, if I would have known I wasn't alone in my panic attacks, in my worry-some thoughts.  If I had known how to combat those problems, even after I had all my babies, I know I wouldn't have missed so many days of school or fallen into the pit of despair.  I have felt so good about the school psychology path.  I pray every day for confirmation it is the right path to pursue.  It won't be easy by any means.  But I am not afraid of a challenge!  Not one whit!  I know if this is God's plan for me, I will reach the end.  I won't fail, no matter how steep the climb becomes.  The one thing that is left to do is fast.  I hate fasting!  I know fasting works, but I feel so icky when I fast, it is hard.  However, that being said, I know I need to fast. I need that confirmation so I can move forth with faith.  Right now, I have a lot of fear in my heart.  I fear I will fail.  I fear I won't be any good at what school psychologists do.  I fear my stupid body will freak out and I won't be strong enough to handle the stress.  Fear and faith cannot exist at the same time.  It isn't possible.  I know if I have the confirmation this is what Heavenly Father wants me to do, I won't fear anymore.  I know there is a career path for me out there.  I have talents, however small they may be.  I want to make the most of my life, and the only way I will do that is by trusting in my Heavenly Father and letting him guide my life.

I love my calling!  I love my husband!  I love my family!  I love my boys!  I love my pets, all seven of them.  Ha ha ha!  (0:  I feel so good about where my life is.  I never want to lose my way again.  Being on the dark side of the force is a bad place to be.  I love the feeling of light, joy, peace, and happiness.  I hope as our family continues to move forward into the future, we will keep the light we have gained.  It feels so good to be good!!  (0:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Repentent Post

I haven't posted here for such a long time.  Shame on me!  But I need to now.  We have had such wonderful experiences of late.  I need to write them down.

First of all, a couple of months ago, I went in to get my temple recommend renewed.  While I was visiting with the stake president, we discussed the reason for our move to Logan.  Of course, Ashley was huge part of that decision.  I spoke just briefly about some of the experiences we had with our amazing daughter.  At the end of my interview, the stake president told me he felt a very strong impression I needed to share Ashley's story in stake conference.  I was speechless!!  That is the best way to describe how I felt!  But I knew it was what the Lord wanted me to do.  Of course, I said I would be happy to!

I cried all the way home from the church.  You see, in Ashley's patriarchal blessing, she was told she would be a missionary to a great many people.  Her influence would bless the lives of others.  At that time, she didn't think she could help anyone.  She was too sick to get out of bed.  Since her passing, I have seen many lives change because of her extrodinary example.  Her influence hasn't stopped.  She continues to inspire and lift hearts, even beyond the veil.  I wanted to tell her in that moment just what a treasure her life was.  Her influence was so great.  She was a missionary, just by enduring to the end.  What a blessing and a privilege to share her story once again, in hopes someone, somewhere, would be blessed by her experiences on this earth.

In preparation for this talk, I wanted to do all I could to stay close to the spirit.  I wanted to take Ashley's name through the temple.  I knew that special event would bring me close to her and to the spirit.  It would focus my eyes once again on the eternal perspective.

So, Memorial Day weekend, my entire family came to Logan.  We went to the temple and I was Ashley's proxy as we took our her endowments.  The spirit was so strong that day!  I felt it the moment I walked in the front doors.  I felt it as I did her initiatory work.  I felt it as we sat in the chapel, waiting for our session to begin.  During the session, my heart burned in my chest.  I knew my beautiful angel was near.  My love for the Savior overwhelmed me!  Because of Him, and his infinite sacrifice, this beautiful girl would be ours forever!!!  That realization overpowered me!  As I looked at my siblings and their spouses, my heart filled with gratitude and love.  There is nothing in this world like sitting in the temple with those I love so dearly!!!  They have been my closest supporters.  What a blessing to have my family surrounding Jason and I on that special day!  The spirit continued to fill all our hearts as we sat together in the celestial room.  Many tears were shed.  It was one of the most spiritual moments in my life and all because of my beautiful angel!!!!

The weekend that followed was crazy, but oh so much fun!  We all sat and talked for hours!  Our children were in heaven!  There is nothing more delghtful than gathering all the grandchildren together.  They love each other so much!  I left the weekend feeling on top of the world, ready to face the world once again, the love of my family burning brightly in my heart.

Since that time, I continued to do all I could to invite the spirit into my life.  I read my scriptures.  I kept the TV off, keeping the noise of the world out of my head.  I tried hard to be patient and loving with my kids, encouraging them to keep the spirit of contention out of our home.  I listened to conference.  I listened to John Bytheway and other uplifting speakers. I played uplifting music.  Jason and I went to the temple.  I fasted and most importantly, I prayed.  I knew this talk was not mine to give.  What needed to be said only the Lord knew.  I can't tell you how earnestly I prayed and pleaded with the Lord that he would guide my every word.

Last night was a miracle!  When I arrived at the church, I was still unsure which parts of Ashley's story to share.  I had a few thoughts on paper, but I was starting to feel worried!  What if I failed!! What if I hadn't done all I could do to invite the spirit into my heart and my life?  The more I sat and thought, the more scared I got!  But when it was time to speak, the spirit filled my heart.  I have no idea what I said.  But I know last night, I was an instrument in the hands of the Lord.  The spirit was there!  The Lord knew what the saints of the Logan Stake needed to hear, and he blessed those words to flow from my mouth.  I take no credit!  What a blessing to be able to give back to my Father in Heaven!  He has given me so much!

As we sat in the session of stake conference today, the spirit continued to fill my heart.  It feels so good to be on the Lord's side.  For so long, I kept one foot in the world and one foot in the gospel.  You can't do both!  You have to pick a side.  I know which side I am on.  I never, EVER want to go back to the person I was a few years ago.  I was so lost!  I lost sight of the eternal perspective.  I will be eternally grateful my little girl helped bring that eternal perspective back into focus.  She is my greatest hero!  I champion her life.  I hope I will always live up to the amazing, valiant young lady she is.

The gospel is true!  The Lord loves us!  He hears and answers our prayers!  He fills our hearts with peace and happiness.  In our darkest hours, he comes and cradles us in the arms of his love!  With God, all things are possible!!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday April 29, 2012

Wow!  I can't believe it is almost May already!  The past month has flown by like a whirlwind!  I only have one week left of school.  YEA!!  I honestly can't wait for the summer break.  This past year has been tough.

I have so many things to write about, I am not sure where to begin.  I need to write little bits more often so when I do catch up, I am not writing a novel.  Ha ha ha!  (0:  I had the most amazing past couple of weeks at school.  At the end of March, I volunteered to have one young student added to my power hour group.  This particular student has Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and he was struggling in the enrichment group.  Wanting the experience of interacting with such a student, I was thrilled when they placed him in my group.  At first, I wasn't sure what to expect.  I was a little scared of him.  I had heard he could be extremely stubborn and often refused to cooperate.  I decided to take a totally different approach to the situation.  I prayed about this boy and specifically asked for help in working with him.  What followed was nothing short of a miracle.  This boy thrived in my group!  He participated.  He smiled.  He was great!  I did see, but only a little bit, the ODD aspects of his personality.  What really made my whole year was when he asked me if I could be his teacher next year.  I think he felt my belief in him and my concern for his well being.  I hope he did.  I love all of my students, and I want them all to feel good about who they are and what abilities they have.  What else was funny about this student was how much he reminded me of Austin.  The mannerisms, the hyperactivity, the impulsivity: just like my son.  That also made it easier to work with him.  When he got fidgety, I sent him for a walk.  I do the exact same thing for Austin.  When this boy was irritated and frustrated, I cut down the amount of work he had to complete.  I do the same thing for Austin in home-school.  These are the kinds of kids I want to help.  I want to be the one who steps in and gives them the tools to be successful in school and in life.  I guess in a way I kind of relate to the underdogs.  I was one of them.  School was tough for me.  I struggled with anxiety many, many times.  I wish I would have had someone who could have helped me understand my body and the way my mind worked.  I would have had a much easier time in school.  As it was, I spent a lot of time worrying if I would be okay.  At times, the symptoms of anxiety severely interfered with my ability to learn.  I don't want other students to struggle like I did.

I had another cool experience this week.  My temple recommend expired at the end of March.  I haven't been to the temple for couple of months, so I didn't realize it was time to renew it.  I was able to get an interview with the bishop last Sunday.  I went in for my Stake Presidency interview on Tuesday night.  President Maughan, our stake President, was the one who interviewed me.  He asked me, after looking at my former recommend, what brought our family to Logan, so I mentioned a little about Ashley and school.  There was a very strong spirit in the room while I spoke to this wonderful man about my sweet daugher.  After the interview, he asked me if I believed in impressions of the spirit.  Well, of course I said yes.  I know the Holy Ghost whispers to our hearts.  When the Holy Ghost whispers, we listen.  (0: He preceded to tell me he felt impressed that I should share Ashley's story at the upcoming stake conference.  I promptly fell over on the floor!!!!!  (0:  Or at least I felt like falling over!  I had such a burning feeling in my heart.  I knew it was what Heavenly Father wanted me to do.  Then of course, I was emotional for the rest of the night.  Ashley continues to bless our lives.  I see more and more blessings all the time.  My testimony has grown so much!  Even though speaking in stake conference scares the hee-bee gee-bees out of me, I feel so humbled to have the chance to speak about my amazing angel.  Somewhere out there is someone who will benefit from her experiences, and mine.  Now I need the spirit with me more than ever!!  What a wonderful opportunity to draw myself even closer to my Heavenly Father!!  (0:  I know, if I trust in Him, I will be blessed to be an instrument in his Hands and fulfill this assignment to the best of my ability.

Because of this speaking assignment, we are also going to complete Ashley's temple work.  The plan was to do that anyway, but now we have a set date to attend the temple as a family.  I can't wait!!  Jason completed the necessary paperwork so all that needs to be done is to take that paperwork to the temple.  My whole family is coming with us.  I know it will be a day to remember for ever and ever!!  (0:  I wish I could tell Ashley just what a blessing she was to us.  I hope she knows it was because of her that so many hearts have changed, so many lives are better, stronger.  We needed that little girl.  I pray every day I can be worthy to be with her again someday.  (0:

I just plain feel good about where I am in my life.  I love having the spirit with me every day.  I have worked hard so I am worthy to have the spirit as my guide.  Life is so scary!  You never know from one moment to the next what may come your way.  The trick is to be prepared ahead of time for the stormy times.  Jason and I spoke in sacrament meeting today about trials.  My topic was how to stay positive during the rough times.  The one thing that has kept me moving forward, that has helped me to see the positive side of the dark times, is my testimony of Jesus Christ and the plan of salvation.  Jesus Christ lives!  He atoned for our sins so that we can return to our Father in Heaven.  Death is not the end.  We will be resurrected someday.  We will be a family forever!  These truths have helped me to keep the eternal perspective always in my sights.  I haven't always been strong.  I wish I could say I was.  But I wasn't.  I almost lost the most important thing in my life.  I had to repent, and the way back was nothing short of hell on earth.  I am SO glad I am not that person anymore.  I will NEVER be that person again.

There is so much more I could write.  I have had so many wonderful spiritual experiences this week.  Unfortunately, time, and upcoming finals this week, are preventing me from spending any more time here.  (0:  The gospel is true!  I am so happy I have the gospel in my life!  (0:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I actually have a little time this afternoon, and so I felt I should write a few of my thoughts down in my blog. It has been a beautiful Sunday. I LOVE Sundays!! (0: I absolutely adore my new calling. Leading primary music is so much fun. I find myself coming away from church feeling uplifted and happy. Even though I am still learning, I know Heavenly Father is helping me to do the best job I can. It feels so good to serve! I have so many wonderful blessings in my life, and I love knowing I can give back at least a little of what I have been given.

The past week was a tough one for our family. Jason was super depressed all week long. He isn't feeling well. His stomach is giving him fits. He can't ever sleep. He has a mouth full of canker sores, (10 to be exact), so he hasn't been able to eat. He does not like his job, and desperately wants to make a career change. He is looking for other options, but nothing has come along. He needs and wants to go back to school, but the right time hasn't come yet. His schedule is too demanding for much. In addition, I have to study every free second I can get. It is so helpful to have him take care of things in the evenings so I can study. If I didn't have his help, I would be so stressed out! He keeps me sane. However, that being said, I would NEVER discourage him from enrolling in school. If that helped lift the awful depression that has overtaken him, it would be so worth it. We would find a way to make it work. I have felt so beside myself knowing what to do for him. There has to be an answer out there. We just need to find it.

I haven't felt very good this past week either. I have been struggling with vertigo again. I haven't had any room spinning eposides, thank goodness. But when I lay down in bed at night, and roll over from one side to another, the room will rock violently from side to side. I will feel off balance periodically throughout the day. I think that is part of the reason I was so tired all last week. When my body has to work hard to correct my balance, I do get tired. The ENT doc told me that was a side effect of the vertigo. Not fun at all! I wanted to exercise a little last week in hopes the exercise would help me to have more energy but I didn't feel like it. In addition, I felt down most of last week. I have no idea where that came from. That is the stupid thing with depression: you never know when it will come on. When it does, it is hard to pull yourself back up. Part of my problem is that I get hyper-sensitive to what people say. I had three experiences last week where something was said to me that made me feel bad about myself. You know what they say, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Well, I consented. When I block out the negative thoughts, I am happy with myself. I feel like I am putting my heart and soul into my job. I am working hard in school, and my grades reflect my dedication. Jason and I are doing well. I grumped at him a bit last week, but he still loves me, so I guess my apology was alright. (0: I feel I have a great relationship with my sons, especially Austin. I love my new calling. I think part of my problem last week came from the notion that I still don't really belong. That sounds so trite! But that is one of my internal struggles. I want people to like me. I sometimes feel like I am a square in a room full of circles. I realized last week, my apparent "squareness" and I let it bother me. I shouldn't have. In those moments, I have to step back and appreciate who I am. Not who I am not.

Well, homework calls my name. I have tried to ignore it for some time now, but it isn't working! Ha ha ha! I hope everyone has a wonderful coming week! (0: